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Cognitive Dissonance

Leon Festinger

Interpersonal Communication—Influence

Theory Overview (7th Edition)

Abstracts appear in Appendix A of the text

Cognitive dissonance is an aversive drive that causes people to (1) avoid opposing viewpoints, (2) seek reassurance after making a tough decision, and (3)change private beliefs to match public behavior when there is minimal justification for an action. Self-consistency, a sense of personal responsibility, or self-affirmation can explain dissonance reduction. (Socio-psychological tradition)

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